Good Morning Amman

Six months ago, I expected to be seeing this right about now. It’s morning in the Al Rabieh section of Amman, north of Fifth Circle.  I was going to spend a couple days in the city, connecting with new and old friends, then take a ride up to Ajlun to meet up with some good friends.  I was really looking forward to it, and some of those friends were counting on it.

But life throws us curves. The unexpected happens- sometimes “good unexpected” and sometimes disappointing. Instead of waking up in Amman right now, I’m preparing to go bed in Pennsylvania. Instead of arid air, city sounds, and clear blue skies, I get humidity, the smells of farm country, and rumbles of thunder. Disappointing unexpected.

But instead of time with good friends in a faraway land, I got a long weekend with my family. Instead of exotic shopping, struggling to find the right words in another language, and white knuckles from adventurous taxi rides; I got multiple get-togethers with friends all around the area, fantastic conversations with many of them, and relatively calm drives on mostly empty roads. “Good unexpected.”

We go through life and we make plans. We pray for God’s blessing on our plans and somehow expect that because WE prayed for it to happen, that it must be Divinely ordained. It’s a silly sort of arrogance in the best light. Something far worse in any other.  Reality crashes in on even the most seemingly “good” plans and dreams and presents us with a picture far different than the one in our minds.

In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans.”  The question for use, for me specifically, is what do we do with reality? Do we curse it and rage against it for not conforming to our “better” plans? Do we begrudgingly accept it, silently pouting about “what might have been”? Or do we recognize that the Divine Mind might actually have knowledge and perspective that is beyond our own, and that this disappointing reality might really be the opening to something far greater?  In other words, will we not just ACCEPT our reality, but relish in it?

I’m going to miss seeing my friends in Jordan this week. I’m going to miss serving them, sharing meals and tea with them, spending long evenings talking with them. I’m going to miss their kids, who have been a real delight in my life the last couple years of visiting them.

But I won’t waste the reality I have here. I’m going to enjoy my kids. I’m going to share meals with my family, and hopefully coffee with some of my friends here. I’m going to talk long into the evening with my wife and others about the dreams in our heads, and how this reality might be taking us there.

We’ve already started, sharing some of our thoughts and dreams with friends at one of our several get-togethers this weekend. As it turns out, they have similar dreams of their own, and might be able to help make our dreams a reality. Now isn’t that funny?  At that moment, I could have been sleeping in Amman. Instead, we were very awake, eagerly discussing “what might be” instead of “what might have been.”

How about you? What reality is crashing in on your dream?  What are you making of it? I’d love to hear about it.

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